Article

Town eyes tower power plan

GREENFIELD -- An Irish company wants to build 20 to 30 electricity-generating wind turbines atop a mountain near Lake Desolation in the town of Greenfield. The question is, do people in Greenfield want wind turbines in their town?

'It's hard to say no to renewable energy,' Supervisor Al Janik said. 'I think we need to move toward renewable energy, but is this the right place for it?'

Janik hopes to know more about that question following an informational meeting tonight on Airtricity's proposal for the far northwestern corner of the town. The meeting is set for 7 at the Greenfield Community Center, next door to Town Hall on Wilton-Greenfield Road.

'I've asked for feedback, and I haven't heard anything negative,' said Janik, who is in his first year in office. 'I have heard some positive things.'

Last month, Airtricity Inc.'s American division asked the town for permission to build a 198-foot meteorological test tower at the site off Plank Road. The company has said the tower will collect wind speed and direction data for a year. Airtricity believes there is enough wind but can't get financing for the 40- to 50-megawatt project without the data.

The tower doesn't fit Greenfield's zoning, which sets a 35-foot height limit. Janik said the town's attorney is drawing up changes to local law that would allow the test tower. The Town Board should have the text in hand at its next meeting,... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

'It's hard to say no to renewable energy,' Supervisor Al Janik said. 'I think we need to move toward renewable energy, but is this the right place for it?'
 
Janik hopes to know more about that question following an informational meeting tonight on Airtricity's proposal for the far northwestern corner of the town. The meeting is set for 7 at the Greenfield Community Center, next door to Town Hall on Wilton-Greenfield Road.
 
'I've asked for feedback, and I haven't heard anything negative,' said Janik, who is in his first year in office. 'I have heard some positive things.'
 
Last month, Airtricity Inc.'s American division asked the town for permission to build a 198-foot meteorological test tower at the site off Plank Road. The company has said the tower will collect wind speed and direction data for a year. Airtricity believes there is enough wind but can't get financing for the 40- to 50-megawatt project without the data.
 
The tower doesn't fit Greenfield's zoning, which sets a 35-foot height limit. Janik said the town's attorney is drawing up changes to local law that would allow the test tower. The Town Board should have the text in hand at its next meeting, 7 p.m. May 11.
 
'We saw no reason to delay them in having the test tower,' Janik said.
 
He pointed out that the project has many hurdles to clear before the generating turbines go up.
 
'How are they going to get the power down to National Grid?' Janik said. 'There will be site plan review. They will have to address the aesthetics.'
 
Janik said he's been told the blades on the 240-foot-tall turbines will be visible from the parking lot of Greenfield Elementary School as they swing up.
 
'But it won't be noticeable, that's what they've said,' he said. 'We haven't seen documentation or a report.'
 
Airtricity's Northeast vice president didn't return a call for comment Tuesday.
 
According to Airtricity's application, there are few neighbors. The property is owned by Glens Falls papermaker Finch Pruyn and Co. Other land there is owned by hunting clubs or absentee landowners.
 
The project isn't far from the Edinburgh town line.
 
'I don't know if you'll even be able to see it from our town,' said Edinburg Supervisor Jean Raymond. 'I don't know why it would bother anybody.'
 
Her town is more mountainous, and presumably windier, than Greenfield. But no company has approached Edinburgh.
 
'And no one ever will because we are in the Adirondack Park,' she said, before alluding to a wind-power project in North Creek that's still pending before the Adirondack Park Agency over concerns about its appearance.
 
'If we don't want to pay $4 or $5 a gallon for gas, we'd better look at some alternatives,' she said. 'It might look bad, but so does someone who is out of work because they can't afford to get there.' 
 
 


Source: http://www.saratogian.com/...

APR 26 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/2323-town-eyes-tower-power-plan
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